The angels are, in a true sense, the crown of the universe. The mere lifeless elements and the lower orders of living organisms show forth but very imperfectly the attributes of their Maker. In man, to be sure, made as he is in the image and likeness of God, the glory of the all-wise Creator shines out with far greater luster. But God is a spirit, and man’s soul, thought spiritual, belongs to an inferior category of spiritual substances. The angels, on the other hands, are pure spirits, thus more closely resembling God himself, and in them His beauty and His majesty are most perfectly reflected.
It is one of the blessings of our holy faith that through it we have been brought to know the angels, to realize their presence, and to enter into communion with them. Saint Paul says,
But you are come to mount Sion, and to the city fo the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to the company of many thousands of angels. (Hebrews 12:22)
Although these glorious beings are present everywhere about us, they might as well, for aught the world at large concerns itself with them, be far away in the most distant spheres. But we have come “to the city fo the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,” which is the Church of Christ, the city that is built upon a mountain. We have drawn night “to the company of many thousands of angels,” and it is our faith that has brought us nigh. For without faith we could not have known them, but like the heather, thought on all sides surrounded and assisted by them, we should still have been far from them, as they would have been far from us – far from our thoughts and far from our affections.
Surely we ought to be grateful for the gift of faith – for it is a gift, as the apostle reminds us – and by evincing a due appreciation of our good fortune in having been brought within the pale of Holy Church and admitted to a knowledge of the wondrous secrets which her divine Spouse has confided to her, dispose ourselves for the fullest realization and the most perfect fruition of those truths, when at last the veil is drawn from our eyes and boundless light burst upon them in the home of our heavenly Father.
There we shall see how blessed is that “company of many thousands of angels,” and how happy it is for us that having loved and honoured them here on earth, we are thence-forward to be most closely associated with them in the joys of the kingdom of heaven.